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February 17, 2015

Lux Aurumque in Montreal

During a concert of my music in Montreal years ago there was a spectacular thunderstorm. At the end of Lux Aurumque something magical happened…

January 29, 2015

Deep Field

The first three minutes of Deep Field in skeletal sketch form – I call it “emotional architecture.” I will make drawings like this for every moment of the piece before I compose any of the actual music.

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November 14, 2014

The Writing Process in the Early Stages

I’m working on a big new piece for choir and orchestra, which will be premiered by the Minnesota Orchestra and Minnesota Chorale in May. Thought some of you might like to see what the process looks like in the early stages.

I’ve been... continued

October 04, 2014

Lux Nova for wind band and choir

Just occurred to me that the band version of Lux Aurumque and the new choral version (Lux Nova) could be performed together seamlessly. The choir would just need to sing a half step up. Dying to know what this sounds like!

September 09, 2014

Music students

As the semester grinds on you may feel intensely burnt-out. You may even consider dropping out of music altogether. If that happens, go back and listen to your favorite recordings, make music with your friends, do anything you can to remind yourself why you... continued

July 25, 2014

Resources for composers

My friend Tim Davies is a world-class orchestrator. (He’s worked on all kinds of big films). His blog is an invaluable resource for composers, arrangers and orchestrators.

www.debreved.com

July 23, 2014

VYC Premieres Tonight

Tonight, the Virtual Youth Choir premieres at the opening ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. I can’t tell you how incredible it looks on the giant 1000m sq screen that spans Celtic Park stadium.  VYC-ers, you look and sound AWESOME.

The event is... continued

June 27, 2014

Awards

I don’t place too much importance on awards, but composer Thomas Newman has been nominated for an Oscar twelve times and has never won. That is a crime.

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  • Los Angeles, Tuesday evening. The glowing cloud sculpture in Disney Concert Hall.

  • I was allowed to witness something amazing this weekend. Dr. Cara Tasher, the brilliant Director of Choral Studies at the University of North Florida, has a tradition with her choir called “hot seat.” (That’s Dr. Tasher in the photo, second from left). She and her singers sit in a large circle surrounding a single empty chair. One by one a student comes to the center of the circle, sits down, and closes their eyes. As soon as they sit the people surrounding them gently bombard them with positive adjectives about their character. “Funny.” “Gracious.” “Generous.” “Confident.” “Beautiful.” The person in the center can’t go anywhere - they must sit and listen to their friends and colleagues sending wave after wave of positive, specific reinforcement describing who they are and what they mean to the tribe. The overall effect was gorgeous, uplifting and deeply human, and as I tearfully told them afterwards in the middle of a big group hug, “This is the most choir thing EVER.”

  • Jacksonville, Florida, Sunday morning.

  • Backstage with the University of North Florida Chamber Singers. Here we go!

  • Jacksonville, Florida, Saturday morning.

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